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 Lucina Smith (L S W) Wakefield  (1889 - 1972)



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Lived/Active: Florida/Georgia      Known for: painting, illustration, woodcuts

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Ad Code: 4
Lucina Smith Wakefield
Illustration from Golden Book Magazine
vol. 20, November 1934, page 543

Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Lucina Smith Wakefield (26 March 1889- April, 1972) was born in Atlanta and received her earliest art instruction from her father, C.W. Smith, an architect, who, as a student, made sketching trips through Europe and brought back reproductions of the great paintings in the Louvre, Prado, and other renowned museums.

She studied with the etcher H.H. Osgood at what Robert Leslie named as the Atlanta Art School, most likely the Atlanta Art Association, which, in turn, was the predecessor of the High Museum of Art. At the Atlanta Art School she was in Life, Portrait, and Pictorial Composition classes and found her father’s library a “great source of inspiration as well as instruction.”

At a date which that institution cannot determine, she had classes at the New York Art Students’ League with Robert Henri and the illustrator Frederic Rodrigo Gruger. During this time she commenced her career in commercial art work and took any type of design that came her way.

In John William Leonard’s Woman’s Who’s Who in America 1914-15, he states that she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and in Paris, that she married in London in 1902, and was born in 1879. Mr. Leonard, then, was at 10-year odds with the Social Security Administration over her birth year, without which she would have been quite the child bride. There is no other evidence about the education he named.

Nothing is known of Wakefield, but she was already known as Lucina Smith Wakefield when in Painting and Design at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts from 1925 to 1927.  

In 1928 she made her own sketching trip to England and Germany and, in fact, made several such journeys that included France, as well.

At some date she returned to Pittsburgh and studied Life Drawing and design at he Carnegie Institute with Donald Dohner, who, in 1934, inaugurated at Carnegie Institute of Technology the world’s first degree program in Industrial design. While at Carnegie she studied colored woodblock printing and taught classes in modern illustration somewhere in Pittsburgh.

The Social Security law was passed in August, 1935, and that is the year she received her number in the State of New York. Therefore, she was living there from no later than that date.

She published a poem entitled Leisure and illustrated it herself in Bookmaking on the Distaff Side, by Frederic Goudy and Gertrude Stein, privately printed, New York, 1937.

She signed her pictures both “L S W” and with a cursive “Wake” and passed away in Palm Beach, Florida.

Submitted by Larry Stanfel

Robert L. Leslie, “Lucina Smith Wakefield,” PM Magazine, vol. I, no. 12, August, 1935, p. 16

Donald Vining, Foreword, Design and Paper, no. 37, Marquardt and Co., New York, 1948

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